Saying Yes, No Matter What is The Challenge

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.

Part of what's been keeping me upset and depressed over the last few days was this simple realization: My immediate future is no longer on my hands and I lost what little control I had over what I was going to do outside work.

I was diagnosed with Gallbladder attacks Memorial day and the earliest I could get scheduled for surgery was tomorrow (6/13) which means that I won't be able to go back to training until 6/27 at the earliest (I'm still hoping the doctor will only give me 1 week recovery but it doesn't sound very likely) which in turn makes it unlikely that I will be allowed to continue training with the IronTeam for Arizona.

Don't get me wrong, I want to continue training really badly but it's not up to me. Mary and Mike will be the ones deciding when/if I can continue. All I can do is the best I can and hope that it'll be enough.

Going back to training or lack thereof today (6/17) I got a call from one of our coaches. In and of itself that's not unusual (maybe not welcome but not unusual) but the content of the conversation made me happier and gives me hope that I'll continue with the team all the way through the end in November. Holding my breath but not too deeply 🙂

But even if I can't continue training there are questions that bring up the larger picture and the larger questions that I have been avoiding so far: How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?

Then there's something to be said for fear. The first question is to ask what are you really afraid of? Are you afraid of not making it it, making it or just staying where you are while you wait and see all the people who actually took a chance and made it pass by?

What is holding you back? What are you afraid of? Why are you letting fear hold you back? WHy not use the fear as the fuel that pushes you forward?

The Art of Non Conformity and Legal Nomads have opened my eyes. I know there is something bigger and better to be had outside the conventional 9-to-5 salary mindset. I've blogged about it before but there's still something holding me back and not letting me explore what it is that I really want to do.

Doing Triathlons and endurance sports is one thing but it's not the only unconventional thing I do or rather it's not the only thing that I would like to do in a regular basis.  There is so much more to do and so much more to be in this life that every time you constraint yourself you're hurting your life and your future.

Yeah, people tell me that 37 is not old but it's older than I was when I first started exploring questions of happiness and trying, as poorly as I did at the time, to define what success really means and in what context. It's never to late to start but there are times when it's too late to realize you can begin to change.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Steve Jobs - 2005

There is such a feeling of freedom when you realize that you really don't have anything to loose (and even more when you realize that you never did). If there is a time to take risks is now. Don't wait until you're sure (when are you ever 100% sure that you'll actually do something or that your plan will work exactly as you intend to?)

SO the next challenge is to actually do things. If you think it's going to be worth the effort then go for it. Don't let anything get in your way. If the sky is the limit then you're the rocket that will get there but only if you let yourself do so.

So what will 2012 look like?

Part of accepting challenges is to accept that you can't win them all but that it doesn't mean you stop trying. 2012 will be shaped by this year regardless of what happens in the TNT/Ironteam front.

Either way I'm moving to California at the end of 2011 (exact dates depend on whether I actually race IMA or not). I don't think that UWG is the place for me long term and I will sure as all hell not make myself miserable trying to figure out if it is or not.

If I make it through to Arizona

If things work out the way I want them to then I'm quitting UWG at the end of September (week after Ironman 70.3 Augusta) and start shipping crap at that time. I'd travel with the team to Arizona and then come back, close the lease and fly back to California sometime in early December.

If I don't make it through to Arizona

Part of what worries me about moving to California is that my mom mwill continue to try and live my life for me; maybe not overtly but with her subtle "you should do this" hints and pronouncements and 'this is my house and my rules' situations.

But I still need a few months of California before I can jump in to dreaming big. If I can't make it to Arizona I don't know how much real training I'll have for Augusta and that may dictate that I live mid September instead of December. It may cause issues with the landlord but I think I have that taken care of 🙂

The rest is all up in the air and for the first time, I'm OK with that.